Christina Jewett 2019
Kaiser Health News
Christina Jewett of Kaiser Health News won the 2019 Feddie Reporting Award for her work that pried open a hidden database of medical equipment malfunctions.
Jewett’s “Hidden Harm” series exposed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s secret database of malfunctioning medical devices. Her reporting prompted the FDA to publish its entire database online.
NPF judges said: “Christina Jewett’s reporting reveals a shocking 20-year effort to hide from doctors and public view thousands of cases of medical equipment malfunctions. We were stunned by the story, which has universal impact and is a failure of federal regulation. Manufacturers of major medical devices were allowed by the Food and Drug Administration to file reports of malfunctions in a special hidden database. Thanks to Jewett, the FDA has now revealed 5.7 million device-related injuries or malfunctions for the first time.”
Christina Jewett is a senior correspondent with the Kaiser Health News enterprise team. She spent seven years with the Center for Investigative Reporting, where she worked with a partner and CNN on a series that uncovered widespread graft in Medicaid-funded drug rehab centers, spurring the closure of scores of centers and 11 arrests. She and colleagues won a George Polk Award for medical reporting, writing about a hospital chain that billed for an outsized rate of rare and lucrative ailments. Her work on the Food and Drug Administration’s hidden medical device database was also honored with a Barlett and Steele gold award. She previously worked at ProPublica and The Sacramento Bee. She is a graduate of Indiana University.